Drive in Snow in Snowy Mountains Australia

Driving to Snow Resorts

If you are driving to NSW resorts of Perisher or Thredbo, during the snow season months of June to October, it is compulsory for 2WD vehicles to carry chains with them in the National Park area, always. Both Perisher and Thredbo are both located in the Kosciuszko National Park. There are substantial fines for not carrying chains in a 2WD vehicle in NSW, which exceeds $350.

AWD and 4WD vehicles are exempt from having to compulsorily carry snow chains in NSW. However, if you operate any of these vehicles and are new to driving on snowy and icy roads, we always suggest you carry chains for safety and peace of mind. Most of the vehicles you will ever see off the side of snowy roads are 4WD and AWD vehicles – usually because the driver did not anticipate how difficult it can be, even in these kinds of vehicles. They will slip and slide just as easy on a snowy/icy road as a 2WD vehicle will, if not driven to conditions correctly.

Fitting chains to cars is a simple process, which is done when directed to by RTA officials on entering the snow-covered road section. There are chain bay fitting areas, where drivers can safely pull over and fit chains. The process of snow chain fitting should take around 5 minutes if you listened to the instructions from attendant when you collected chains.

It is very important to remove chains when not driving on snowy or icy roads, as they are made of soft steel and not designed to be driven on bitumen roads for long, and can either break or be damaged, which then will incur a replacement or repair charge.

Remember to drive to road conditions, especially in rural country areas. There is also a very big population of wild animals living in the national park and country areas. These include Kangaroos, wombats, deer, echidna and other endangered animals. Most mentioned can cause major damage to a car and the safety of occupants, so always drive with theirs and your own safety in mind.

No Chains Result of No Chains
Weather changes and become stuck up the Mountain
in snow storm, requiring assistance.
*Emergency chain evacuation costing more than $600.
*Fined for not carrying chains.
*There are no chain hires in resort areas.
Car slides off road. *Risking the safety of car occupants & possible damage to car.
*Fined for not carrying chains.
*Towing fees.
Police roadside check *Fined for not carrying chains.

Snow Chain Hire

  1. Please have your tyre size ready when you come instore. This will look something like this: 215/45 R17 and is marked on the tire sidewall. This will save time, as attendant will have to go outside to your car and retrieve tyre size from your car, before going to next step.
  2. The attendant who serves you, will then grab the corresponding chain to fit your tire and test fit to your car tire. The chains are only fitted to the 2 drive wheels. If you have a 4WD or AWD, please check your driver’s manual.
  3. The attendant will then provide an informed chain fitting and removal demonstration on your car. It is a good idea to either take notes or video the process. Please ask the attendant any questions you have.

How to Drive on Snowy / Icy Roads

  1. Fit chains as per instructed or when required in designated safe chain fitting area. Do Not stop to fit chains in the middle of an icy road.
  2. Fit chains to the drive wheels of car, or as instructed in owners manual of car. Ensure no chain is left loose on outside of car or it can damage paintwork of car.
  3. Drive approximately 10m to check and re-tension chain.
  4. When safe to do so, pull out of chain bay fitting area and into traffic.
  5. Drive at a top speed of 35 – 40km an hour with chains on.
  6. Leave a good safe distance between car in front.
  7. Do not brake suddenly and heavily (applies mainly to 4WD & AWD vehicles, without chains, but also applies to 2WD vehicles)
  8. When road is clear of snow and ice, pull over to side in a safe area and remove chains. Do not drive on bitumen roads with no ice or snow.

Helpful Information